--O.k., start poppin’ (you’ll never Dorito again…) This is about to get real.
2010 –The Performance For Our Lives.
2010 was the year when public performance art to raise awareness about the increasing threat to our planet got real. From giant hands ripping down representative buildings, to massive melting ice sculptures, to a nude weeping human form blanketed in oil, art began demanding change in new and creative ways. By challenging people’s sense of urgency through compelling street installations and performance art, artists amplified the discussion about the looming crisis in ways that simply couldn’t be ignored.
Andy Warhol would have been so, so proud. Well, for at least 15 minutes.
2018 –Guerilla Activism.
After years of making snail’s pace progress, and two years of the Dump On The World administration--sorry, the Trump administration rolling back international efforts for global healing--more strident efforts were sorely needed.
Those included the Extinction Rebellion, which began using more extreme tactics such as disrupting high profile events, including 2018 Fashion Week in Paris. Their aim was simple: Life stops. First your event, and then the world.
At least until Anna Wintour steps in. Yikes.
August 2018– It Took A Child.
Greta Thunberg began her quest alone. Sitting outside of the Swedish Parliament armed with a bright yellow raincoat, a poneytail, and a handwritten placard that read: School strike for the climate.
Greta’s plea got noticed. First by the locals. Then by all of Sweden. And finally, by the entire world. Her actions sparked a global movement that has been further powered by equally passionate young climate activists who are inspiring individual and political change through grassroots and digital efforts.
This new form of activism is called Ponytail Power which has been wielded around the world ever since. Especially by young men who just don’t know what to do with their hair. O.k., we just made all that up. But Greta would definitely appreciate it (Read her tweets!)
Earth Day 2021– Hope Slogs Eternal.
After 51 years of incremental destruction, realization, denial, activism, outright obstructionism, increased destruction, more realization, more denial, further activism…o.k., you get the point. After over five decades of veering between the sublime and the ridiculous, will Earth Day 2021 mark a real change?
Will humanity be able to claim a true turn in the war? Can we finally be able to envision real victory in our collective intractable battle against climate change and the entrenched powers who benefit from fossil fuel consumption without end? When green technology and lifestyles are finally able to take stable root? And the countdown to our cumulative destruction can, at the very least, be paused? "
--I'm exhausted...where were we? Oh ya, the fate of the world was hanging in the balance. Well, let’s just say, things are definitely looking up.
A climate conference that isn’t just a bunch of talk.
Everyone knows how well the Paris climate meeting went in 2016. Or at least how it went down the drain along with a lot of bleached straw hair once the Trump administration took power and formally exited it in 2017.
So how will this year be different? One word: Biden.
With Joe Biden reclaiming the international helm, America will once again be instrumental in leading the world toward a sustainable future. That leadership will be put to the test at the November Paris Climate Meeting, where number one on the agenda will be making up for lost time.
This time, countries are already making deep carbon cuts on their own.
Pivotal countries have already made announcements that they are committed to going carbon neutral prior to the upcoming meeting. Even China--responsible for nearly 30% of the world’s emissions-- has set a stunning goal of reaching neutrality by 2060. This newfound desire to be a big part of the solution is a true game changer.
2021 promises to be the greenest year on record.
The rapidly reducing cost of renewables is creating an affordable green revolution.
Wind power is one of the fastest growing sources of energy in many parts of the world. Electric vehicles are finally within the financial reach of most in the middle class. And sustainable methods are being adopted by practically every industry from clothing to asphalt production.
And, finally, more individuals are joining in the battle. Gallup’s annual Environmental Poll found that almost 30% of Americans have made “major alterations” in their lifestyles in order to do their part to combat global warming. Almost 50% report having made some changes.
So, we may not have quite arrived at a completely happy ending. But let’s just say it’s the beginning of an end we might all just be able to live with.
Keep recycling, composting, reducing waste, avoiding plastic, buying organic and sustainable, conserving water and energy, and contributing to organizations that are leading the fight for our future. Which, by the way, will be the focus of our next blog.
But most of all, continue speaking out! Remember, every voice matters. A brave and powerful girl in a poneytail taught us that.